Local Red Cross workers head to Philippines

A Malden man who responds to disasters for the Red Cross arrived in Manila Sunday night, hoping to help provide relief in the wake of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan, the Red Cross of Massachusetts said.

Luis Matnog, a Philippines native, is one of four Red Cross workers sent to assess the damage and offer assistance. He was sent with just a tent for shelter, the Red Cross said.

Heavy winds and surging waters tore through the islands Friday. The Associated Press reports that 900 have died, and the death toll could surpass 10,000.

One of Matnog’s jobs will be to assess and repair damaged buildings. “We are not sure if he will be able to save anything,’’ said Kat Powers, communication director for the Red Cross.


Matnog also specializes in logistics and transporting people and disaster relief supplies, the Red Cross said in a statement.

Matnog checked in with the Red Cross after he landed, but has not since given any updates, Powers said.

Matnog has been with the Red Cross for 10 years and has responded to numerous emergencies, both in Massachusetts and elsewhere, including the April Boston Marathon explosions, Superstorm Sandy, and the earthquake in Haiti, the statement said.

The Red Cross is accepting donations to aid relief efforts. People can call 1-800-RED-CROSS, go to redcross.org, or send a check to their local chapter with “typhoon relief’’ written on the memo line.

The Red Cross is also offering services for people looking to find missing loved ones. To learn how to use Red Cross services to seek family members, people should call International Services Director Lynn Levine at 617-274-5233.

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